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England's injury-hit build-up has final twist as Genge ruled out

By Liam Heagney
England's Ellis Genge (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Steve Borthwick’s injury-hit England suffered another blow just hours ahead of the start of their 2024 Guinness Six Nations as Ellis Genge pulled up lame and won’t take his place on the bench in Rome.

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Genge had been named as the loosehead back-up to the starting Joe Marler versus Italy on Saturday, but a foot injury has now forced him out and the No17 shirt will instead be worn at the Stadio Olimpico by Beno Obano.

The early indication from the England camp is that Genge’s injury wasn’t serious and he should be in contention to feature in next weekend’s round two meeting with Wales in London.

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The news broke after the England squad arrived by bus at the ground and the change has left front-rower Obano in line for his first Test appearance in nearly three years.

Bath prop Obano was last capped in the 2021 Summer Series, but he is now set for a fourth appearance following a Six Nations campaign build-up where England have been riddled with injury.

Fixture
Six Nations
Italy
24 - 27
Full-time
England
All Stats and Data

Their issues began before they flew to Girona for their warm-weather training camp as the injured Ollie Lawrence, Oscar Beard and Luke Cowan-Dickie gave way to Max Ojomoh, Will Muir and Jamie Blamire.

Nick Isiekwe then developed an illness that saw him replaced by Charlie Ewels, and this was followed by the training ground calf injury suffered last Monday by Marcus Smith, who has since flown back to England for further assessment.

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